BBC Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral

On Wednesday 20 June the BBC were with us at Christ Church to record Choral Evensong from Christ Church Cathedral.

The service was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 in their weekly Wednesday afternoon slot, with the choir conducted by our Director of Music, Stephen Darlington, and organ playing by Sub-Organist Clive Driskill-Smith. The full music list is available below:

Responses: Byrd
Psalm 104 (Hawes, Martin)
First Lesson: Isaiah 5 vv.8-24
Canticles: St Paul’s Service (Howells)
Second Lesson: James 1 vv.17-25
Anthem: The Twelve (Walton)
Voluntary: Toccata quinta (Frescobaldi)

If you missed out on hearing the live broadcast, or would like to listen again, the service will be repeated on BBC Radio 3 this Sunday at 3pm, and will be available to listen to on BBC iPlayer for a further month.

BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong is the BBC’s longest-running outside broadcast, and will mark 92 years of outside broadcasting this autumn. Its enduring popularity is reflected in the fact that it is one of the most frequently requested programmes on the Listen Again service on the BBC Radio 3 website, which, combined with listeners tuning in live on Wednesday and Sunday, means that around 250,000 tune in each week.

What troupers they are

Here is an email from Frank Dominguez from WDAV about the epic journey to Charlotte NC.

Tonight’s broadcast was extraordinarily smooth, in spite of a rocky afternoon – the poor boy choristers were first stranded in Mooresville when their bus broke down, and when a replacement hadn’t arrived in a timely way, had to hop cabs to get to Charlotte, only to contend with traffic on I-77. The youngsters made it to Covenant with barely enough time to do a sound check, never mind have the dinner the church had prepared for us. You’d never know the stressful circumstances from the performance they gave, though – it was stupendous!

Kudos to veterans Bob, Jim, Larry, Bruce, and Matt for making it all run smoothly, and to Theresa and Kendra for their impressive debuts in one of these productions: Theresa provided poised and knowledgeable continuity, and Kendra was the den mother of our dreams, shepherding the choir to and from their calls with authority and tact. It was so much fun to have Will and Kali among us, posting and tweeting away to share the excitement of it all with our social media fans. And Joe held down the fort back in the WDAV studios with his usual unflappable polish.

The only sad note was not having Josh with us – he’s been sidelined with an illness, but was with us in spirit and listening online, bless him. Send your good thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery his way, please.

Can’t say thank you enough to Stephen Darlington and Chris Rocker of the choir; the brilliant Lisa Gray, who helped coordinate so much of this; as well as Stephen Talley and the warm, lovely people at Covenant Presbyterian who were so helpful and cooperative.

Very proud of all of us tonight – my heart overflows!

Days 6,7 and 8

Day 6, 7 and 8

Apologies for the recent silence. Our last couple of days in CA were extremely busy with various singing events and a nice side portion(!!) of socialising to go with it. So I write this now from my hosts’ house in Charlotte, NC. (Warning! This seems to have turned into a rather long post…)

As I mentioned in the previous post, it was our second official ‘rest day’ of the tour and we went en masse to (where else?!) Disneyland. Our day in “The happiest place on earth” certainly lived up to expectations. From what I could tell most of us (Boys and Gents) headed straight for the Space Mountain ride which is known to be the most thrilling among the rides Disneyland has to offer. This turned out to be Mr Kimber’s first ever rollercoaster so it was interesting to see his photo at the end of the ride…From here we went our separate ways and seeing the photos uploaded so far it seems everyone had a fantastic time. The Gents all met up in the Big Thunder Ranch Barbeque to have lunch together. It just so happened that this establishment only served all-you-can-eat ribs and chicken wings. Unfortunately for some this reminded us all too vividly of the Lay Clerks and Scholars Annual Pizza Eating competition which takes place every December. (For those interested, this academic year’s competition was won by Mr Kimber who clocked an almighty 30 slices…!). After this, an air of lethargy fell on a few of us and we decided that we’d prefer to have a gentle stroll around the park finishing up by watching the parade.

The following day the boys had an early bus journey back to San Clemente where they took part in a Vocal Workshop for the general public and members of Casa Romantica. After this the boys got back on the bus and headed to Long Beach, CA for our concert on-board the Queen Mary. The Gents had spent the day sightseeing in LA and made their own way to Long Beach – amazingly they all made it there on time even if there were some hit and miss metro changes. The Queen Mary is a fascinating tourist attraction. We performed in the Queen’s Salon (previously known as the Music Room) which is an Art Deco masterpiece – something straight out of a Jeeves and Wooster novel. The concert was very well received and afterwards we hopped back on the bus to Casa Romantica where we met our hosts. This (to me, at least) felt like ‘coming home’ as I was hosted with such a fantastic family who were so welcoming, kind and generous.

The next evening we provided some musical entertainment at a fundraising dinner in the Casa. The event was started with the Christ Church grace and was followed by two sets of music which were interspersed between courses. The event was apparently a success and afterwards we went back to our hosts for our final evening in CA.

There was an extremely early start yesterday from Casa Romantica for our flight to Charlotte from LAX. En route we had a very entertaining pilot from North Carolina who kept us amusingly-informed on the flight path and other various bits of information. We touched down safely in Charlotte last night at around 7.30pm (local time) and made our way to the Covenant Presbyterian Church where the gents met their hosts and the boys carried on their journey to where they were staying.

We’ll be singing a concert tonight here in Charlotte at the Presbyterian Church and then afterwards we head on the bus to Davidson College where we’ll be performing a concert and a choral workshop.

Many thanks for reading!



This is a bit tough on all the mums.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly?


The Good – we are trying to feed the boys well


The Bad – what they want

And the Ugly? They may have to go on a diet when thy come home 🙂

Stairway to Heaven


The Boys on the Stairs at Casa Romantica – Picture by Sophie Biddell